I remember things. A lot of times, in talking about the Bengals people call me a moron for my positive outlook on things the Bengals do. No, I am not a moron, I know all about the struggles and the failures that the Bengals have had in the last 20 years. Terrible drafts, bad showing on the field, bad off-season acquisitions. But, I am also not one of those people who claim to be a fan and then shit all over everything the Bengals do.
So I remember when the Bengals drafted Dalton (who by the way, was not my top choice for the Bengals QB. And for which I am now admitting that I was way off). I also remeber the mixed emotions surrounding that pick. Some fans could get behind a good kid, from a school that has been winning a lot of games recently and thought that could transfer over to the pro game.
Others (the focus of this post) could not wait to bash the Bengals (yet again) for drafting Dalton.
This is where I’m not satisfied with the Bengals draft. Andy Dalton’s talent level is graded out as a great value in the fourth or fifth round. While Jay Gruden has a huge man-crush, I can see why the Bengals reached for a quarterback, but Dalton is a reach as a second rounder. I like the player, just not the round.
Cincinnati had better hope their evaluation of Dalton is accurate, because from a talent standpoint, he was the biggest reach of Round 2 this year.
Dalton generated a ton of pre-draft buzz – so much so that he was considered a first-round lock despite mid-round talent (oops!) – thanks to impeccable intangibles and football smarts, great character, and a winner’s mentality. Teams that run the West Coast Offense – like Cincinnati – were especially fond of Dalton, as it’s in that system only that he projects as a possible starter in the league.
And of course the brain trust over at WhoDeyRevolution devote a whole article on why Dalton will fail:
Followed by some of the following comments:
I’m glad you wanted Dalton. Just recall the last quarterback mike took high was prototypical in every way and came from a big program…… and he quit. Give me one positive and I’ll agree with you. I just can’t see any.
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Dalton? You count that as a good thing? 2nd round QB as day one starter? Plus, we have no idea how much time we will get to learn this new system before the season starts, which, oh by the way, is a new system for the whole offense. Realistically, this is about as big a negative as you can have. A good pick, but terrible for opening day 2011. This is not Sam Bradford.
Aside from the last group of people (who will never enjoy anything Bengals related even though they claim to be the biggest fans in the world) I hope people are eating their words. Take a look at the front page of Sports Illustrated online today for the following video where “experts” debate which rookie QB is the better one to start a team around. Dalton gets a lot of love in this video.
Peter King says it well in his Monday Morning QB article:
The Bengals are 4-2. Knock Mike Brown for not trading Carson Palmer, for not building a consistent winner, and for ignoring the bleatings of generations of Bengals who have begged for him to hire a real general manager. His draft last April was as patient as it was productive. First the pick of A.J. Green in the first round; that surprised no one, and his production (29 catches, 15.6-yard average, four touchdowns) has been consistent with where he was drafted. But the drafting of Andy Dalton, especially where he was drafted, was a risky move that turned out to be a home run. Think of it. Starting around the 20th pick in the first round, there was a drumbeat for Dalton. Indianapolis liked him a lot at 22; Seattle loved him at 25, and Buffalo, one pick ahead of Cincinnati at 34th overall, had a quarterback need. Right behind the Bengals, San Francisco and Arizona both liked Dalton. But Brown stayed where he was and got Dalton. The Dalton-to-Green combo, plus a top-five defense with eight defensive linemen who play almost willy-nilly interchangeably, have the Benglas, next to San Francisco, the biggest surprise team in the league entering their bye.